[b-hebrew] An interesting translation of Psalms 143:2a

George F. Somsel gfsomsel at juno.com
Tue Aug 24 01:39:29 EDT 2004


On Tue, 24 Aug 2004 11:01:29 +0900 moon at mail.sogang.ac.kr writes:
> > 
> > Hi,
> > 
> > Boyarin, in his book "A Radical Jew", translated Psalms 143:2a as 
> follows (p.119):
> > 
> >  Do not reproach your servant with statue, [for no living being 
> will be justified 
> >                                              before you]
> > 
> > The usual translation is: do not enter into judgement with your 
> servant.
> > 
> > The original is:
> > 
> >   AL-TABOAH BEMISFAT ETH-YABDEQA.
> > 
> > 
> > BDB says about ETH:
> > 
> >  
> > ETH marks an accusative in other relations than that of
> > direct object to a verb: (a) with verbs of motion (very rare)
> > denoting the goal. 
> > 
> > So AL-TABOAH BEMISFAT ETH-YABDEQA can be taken to mean:
> > 
> >   Do not come unto your servant with statue.
> > 
> > So, Boyarin's rendering seems possible. On the other hand, verb 
> BOH seems to 
> > go with prep. BE more  naturally. BDB says about BE:
> > 
> >  with verbs of motion, when the movement to a place results in 
> rest in it,
> >  INTO: after BAH, NATAN, SHALAQ.
> > 
> > Though  MISHFAT is not a place, but a process, I think entering 
> into a process
> makes sense as much as entering into  a place. So, the traditional 
> translation 
> clearly makes sense. 
> 
> I am interested in Boyarin suggested his translation because of the 
> way
> 143:2b is quoted in Rom 3:20a:
>  
>  No flesh will be justified from works of Torah before him.   
> 
> Paul adds "from works of Torah" to the original. But if we take 
> Psalms 143:2a
> as Boyarin suggests, this addition makes sense. In the context, 
> Psalms 143:2b
> can be taken to mean "no living being will be justified before you 
> [
> JUDGED WITH STATUE]". From this, it seems natural for Paul to write
> " No flesh will be justified from works of Torah before him."
> 
> Any comments?
>  
>  
> > Moon Jung
> > Sogang Univ, Seoul, Korea 
__________________

First, your tranliteration is very misleading.  Here is the text.

W:)aL_T.fBoW B:Mi$:P.f+ )eT_(aB:D.eKf C.iY Lo)_YiCD.aQ L:PfNeYKf KfL_XfY

Apparently he is deriving "statue" from Mi$P.f+ which makes no sense to
me.  Mi$P.f+ signifies "judgment", "custom", "case [legal]" or even the
"pouch of judgment" which contained the Urim and Thumim.  Moreover, what
in the world would "Do not reproach your servant with statue" mean?  One
of the first duties of a translator is to make the text comprehensible --
assuming that the text made sense in the first place.  I would say that
he fails miserably here.

george
gfsomsel


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